Writing in the Washington Post, assistant editor and opinions contributor Robert Gebelhoff—a fellow who undoubtedly understands the First Amendment in his sleep—talks about solving the problem of gun-related violence by asserting, “There are a number of remedies available — from mandating safe storage of firearms to requiring licenses for ownership, many of which states have already implemented — that can reduce gun deaths without violating Second Amendment rights.”
Since when is it okay to require a license to exercise a constitutionally enumerated fundamental right? Just because some states have implemented such laws does not make them constitutional.
Would it be acceptable to Gebelhoff to obtain a license in order to practice his profession?
Meanwhile, Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun prohibition lobbying group backed by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, sent an email blast Friday condemning “radical far-right gun extremists,” for staging armed protests in Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia over the COVID-19 lockdown orders.
However, that same group has been silent on the takeover of a six-block area of Seattle, calling it the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ), which is patrolled by armed “volunteers.” Images of masked protesters armed with semiautomatic rifles—the so-called “assault weapons” Everytown and its benefactor want banned—are all over the Internet, so the group can hardly claim ignorance.
The Washington State Republican Party issued a bristling condemnation of the Seattle situation, blaming decades of Democrat control.
“Complete with armed guards and border walls – we are seeing a culmination of the Democrats’ failed policies with the radical occupation of six city blocks and the media is treating it like some kind of beatnik festival,” said GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich, perhaps dating himself worse than if he had called it a “hippie” festival.
In his WaPo commentary, Gebelhoff says police reforms are incomplete without “gun reforms,” whatever those might be. Throughout his 750-word Op-Ed, Gebelhoff appears to treat the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as though it were a government-regulated privilege. Rights and privileges are different. His argument comes down to restricting gun rights to reduce the potential for police officers to be more inclined to use lethal force.
Gebelhoff contends “more stringent gun laws would also represent an important step to reduce police shootings and to make communities safer overall.”
At the same time, Everytown is arguing, “Armed protestors have shown up to the Michigan capitol multiple times now, menacing lawmakers inside the capitol building.” But there is not a single word about the armed protesters manning the barricades around Seattle’s CHAZ area, and how they have allegedly been menacing others by demanding identification, apparently frisking people who want to enter the zone and, as mentioned by Assistant Seattle Police Chief Deanna Nollette during a press event Wednesday, possibly demanding money from individuals and businesses to do business, which is extortion.
Fox News is now reporting an apparent split between Black Lives Matter activists and the protesters who seized and created the CHAZ area on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The same report is being carried by Seattle’s KOMO, the local ABC affiliate.
Observers watching the situation in Seattle have been wondering how long the CHAZ will last. If organizers begin bickering with one another, it may not be long.